Title: Cold Comfort Farm
Author: Stella Gibbons
Winner of the 1933 Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, COLD COMFORT FARM is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s. Flora Poste, a recently orphaned socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, and becomes enmeshed in a web of violent emotions, despair, and scheming, until Flora manages to set things right (from Goodreads).
Thoughts: When Flora’s parents die leaving her with a fortune of only 100 pounds per year she is forced to move in with relatives. After some thought she decides to stay with some distant cousins, the Starkadders, who live on a farm in Sussex because she thinks it will be the most interesting. Despite the protestations of her friends she leaves for Sussex happily; possessed with a very practical, forthright personality, she has already decided to remake Cold Comfort, and the people inhabiting it, to suit her. However Cold Comfort is worse off then she thought, what with crazy Aunt Ada Doom ruling the family from her room, Amos obsessed with brimstone and hellfire, and Seth impregnating Mariam, the hired girl, each spring.
I wanted to love this book so much. I really did. I had seen the movie made in the 90s based on it and I thought that it was just charming so I was really excited to get my hands on the book. Unfortunately, the book fell short in my opinion. The book wasn’t bad, it was just ok. I had really expected more humor, especially after reading the introduction about how Gibbon’s writing was hilarious. I chuckled once or twice but that was it. And, to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure of the point of setting the book in the not-so-distant future; it didn’t impact the story at all and when I was reminded that the book was taking place in a different reality then the thirties I found it a bit jarring.
Overall, I don’t have many thoughts on this book. It was a quick and nice enough read but it wasn’t what I expected and I confess to being a little disappointed with it. I try not to get overly excited or build up books in my mind as to what they will be like because I find that when I read them the books don’t fit my expectations. Unfortunately, I think that is what happened here. I wonder if I had heard nothing of this book or had not seen the movie if I would have liked it better. Maybe I would have, but of course there is no way to know. Oh well, on to the next one!